I realized this quite early in life; not everyone can be a teacher. Rather not everyone can be a good one. And mind you, a good teacher isn’t necessarily the person who is always a jolly, smiling individual but one who genuinely makes you interested in learning.
While I was going to school, children were largely meant to be seen and not heard unless expressly called upon to show the teacher that they hadn’t wasted his or her time lecturing a class of 40 kids, every day about things they didn’t know they needed to learn. And yet teachers are an inescapable part of life; the inadvertent ones and the one we recognise as teachers.
After going to 9 different schools from pre-primary till my 12th grade exams, I thought I had a pretty good fix on who can be considered a good teacher and then college hit and I began to have multiple A-Ha experiences. While it is harder to hold down the attention of school-going kids and give them an exposure to all the subjects in one go, it is that much harder to teach young adults coming into their own, about how the subjects they will learn in college will end up impacting their lives in a more permanent way.
I have had teachers dazzle me with their knowledge, their passion, their kindness and also their love. I have (sadly) also seen people that made me cringe and made me promise myself that I would never submit to that kind of rigor, near aggression or mindless teaching in the name of education.
The adage from G.B Shaw, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” has been proven wrong many times over. Those who can do, those who can’t, don’t or bumble along trying. It has *nothing* to do with teaching at all.
To all my teachers over the years…whether I reached wherever you expected me to or not, the lessons have been learnt. Some discarded, few forgotten but the ones learnt properly have resonated with me and continue to do so. Thank you…